Orange Cream Sponge Cake
Italian cake

Orange Cream Sponge Cake

A genoise is a classic Italian sponge cake, the foundation of many Italian and French sweets. This delicious cake is filled with orange-flavoured crème anglaise — I love its delicate flavour and melting texture. Interestingly, the Italians call a genoise sponge pan di spagna (“Spanish bread”), while the French associate it with the city of Genoa.

Orange Cream Sponge Cake

1 hour preparation time
50 minutes cooking time
2 hours refrigeration time
Serves 6–8


  • 1 genoise (pan di spagna)
  • 1 quantity crème anglaise
  • 2 oranges (preferably unwaxed)
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 20 ml (½ fl oz) orange-flavoured liqueur
  • 3 tablespoons bitter orange marmalade
  • 120 g (4¼ oz/¾ cup) blanched almonds
  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) thin (pouring) cream
  • 30 g (1 oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar


Make the genoise the day before according to the recipe. Use a 26 cm (10½ inch) round cake tin and, once cooked, cut the cake into three horizontal layers with a bread knife. The next day, make the crème anglaise as per the recipe.

In a saucepan over a medium–high heat, bring the juice and grated zest of 1 orange to the boil with the sugar. When the juice starts to caramelise, add the liqueur and marmalade, and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Cool the mixture to just warm and mix into the crème anglaise.

Line a 26 cm (10½ inch) round cake tin with plastic wrap. Place one disc of genoise in the base of the tin and spread evenly with a third of the orange crème anglaise. Repeat this process twice. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours.

Toast the almonds for 10 minutes at 180°C (350°F), then chop them with a knife. Remove the cake from the tin.

In a bowl, whip the cream with the icing sugar. Spread two thirds of it around the side of the cake and press the almonds around the side. Place the cake on a serving plate, decorate with the remaining whipped cream and threads of orange zest from the second orange.


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